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Credit Builder Basics: Everything you need to know

We’ve gathered the most common Credit Builder questions from our community. Find out more about how to use our Credit Builder card.

Chime Team • September 28, 2021

If you don’t know, now you know: We offer a credit card! It’s called Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card¹-  and it’s a no annual fee, no interest rate secured credit card that helps you build your credit. 

 We’ve gathered our most common Credit Builder questions to give you the lowdown. 

Let’s get to it. 

In This Article

  1. Using Credit Builder
  2. Credit Builder and your credit score
  3. Ready to build the credit you always wanted? 

Using Credit Builder

Here are a few things to keep in mind when your Credit Builder card arrives!

Credit Builder vs. Chime debit card 

You can use your Credit Builder card for pretty much all the purchases you used to make with your debit card. Think necessities like gas and groceries, recurring bills, but also fun things too like eating out and your next new pair of shoes. There are no wrong types of purchases when it comes to Credit Builder, all purchases can help you start building credit. 

But hold onto that debit card! SpotMe isn’t available on Credit Builder, so make sure to keep your Chime debit card handy too. 

Fee-Free ATM Withdrawals with Credit Builder²

You can use your Credit Builder card to get cash at any ATM, but you won’t pay interest or fees at in-network ATMs². When you use a credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, you’re getting what’s called a “cash advance”. 

Unlike most credit cards, we don’t charge you interest or fees for this cash advance when you use your card at in-network ATMs² (find one near you using the ATM Map in the Chime app).

How much money should you transfer to your Credit Builder Account?

That is totally up to you! However, to take advantage of all your monthly purchases to start building credit, you could move your entire monthly spending budget to Credit Builder so all your purchases can now help you build credit. Money moved to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account and determines how much you can spend with your Credit Builder card. At the end of the month, your money in the secured account can be used to pay your balance automatically with the Safer Credit Building feature³. 

If you need to use SpotMe, you can always transfer money back to your Chime online checking account instantly and use your debit card. You can make the transfer in your Chime app, from the Move Money tab.

The easiest way to move money into Credit Builder is by using Move My Pay. This feature will move the amount of your choice into Credit Builder on every payday. This way, you won’t miss a chance to use your card.

Requesting a new Credit Builder card: You might be familiar with how easy it is to ask for a new debit card using our app. Right now, this option isn't available for Credit Builder, so you will need to reach out to our support team. But we’re working on making this process better. 

Credit Builder and your credit score

Consistent use of Credit Builder can build your payment history, increase the length of your credit history over time, and has the potential to balance out your credit mix. Learn more about how this works below: 

Building credit every day 

The magic of Credit Builder is that we offer features that help you be on top of the key factors that impact your credit score. 

  • On-time payment made easy: On-time payment is a crucial aspect of building credit.  With our Safer Credit Building feature³, we’ll use your money in the secured account to automatically pay your monthly charges. We report these payments to credit bureaus to help you build credit.
  • Build credit with your own money: After you make a purchase with Credit Builder, we’ll set aside that money in your secured account. You can then use that money to pay for monthly spendings – automatically. This helps you spend within your budget and avoid outstanding balances.
  • No more credit utilization: With many credit cards, high credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score. However, Credit Builder doesn’t report utilization because it doesn’t have a preset limit – you set your limit with your own money. This means, you don’t have to worry about a bad mark on your credit report because of a high utilization rate on this card. Learn more about credit utilization here. 
  • Increase credit score over time: The longer you maintain a healthy credit record, the more you are viewed as creditworthy. Start building credit with Credit Builder and have it add up for you over time.

New credit account 

Once you open your Credit Builder account, you may experience a temporary credit score decrease. This can sometimes happen because every time you open a new account that will be reported to Credit Bureaus (i.e. Experian, Transunion, and Equifax), your average credit history length goes down. 

The average credit history length is one of the factors that impact your credit score. In general, the longer an account has been open and in good standing, the better it is for your credit score. Because this is a new account, your average length of all your accounts and loans decreases. It’s important to remember that this is only one element influencing your credit score. As you make on-time payments with the help of Chime Credit Builder’s Safer Credit Building feature, your credit score could improve and even surpass where it started in several month’s time*.

Ready to build the credit you always wanted? 

The journey of building credit can take some time. We’re here for you throughout your journey and will continue to work on creating banking features to help you achieve financial peace of mind! 💚

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

* Based on a representative study conducted by TransUnion®, members who started using Chime Credit Builder in September 2019 observed a median credit score (VantageScore 3.0) increase of 30 points by January 2020. On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score.

1 To be eligible to apply for Credit Builder, you need to have received a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Spending Account within the last 365 days of your application. The qualifying direct deposit must have been made by your employer, payroll provider, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit. Bank ACH transfers, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits are not qualifying direct deposits.

2 Get fee-free transactions at any MoneyPass ATM in a 7-Eleven location or at any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Otherwise, out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply.

3 On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

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